Does vinegar ruin grout? This is an important question for grout tile maintenance. Vinegar is a surprisingly strong liquid for several cleaning applications in the household. Unfortunately, its acidic nature can be more problematic than helpful. Is it helpful for grout tile maintenance, or will it exacerbate the problem?
Here is the bottom line.
Does Vinegar Ruin Grout?
Vinegar can indeed ruin grout. But this applies only to those situations where the grout is not sealed. Unfortunately, vinegar penetrates unsealed grout by seeping into the air spaces within the material. Once lodged in these spaces, vinegar will corrode grout with the passage of time. The grout will eventually wear off. So you should take not to apply vinegar for cleaning purposes if you have unsealed grout in the area.
The good news is that vinegar will not corrode grout if you have taken the trouble of sealing it regularly. In such a case, vinegar should not cause an issue with the grout since it is sealed.
It is therefore advisable to check the grout each year to check if it needs sealing. You need to seal grout in order to render it immune to erosion, spills and dirt.
Tile Grout Maintenance
The question is: how do you know if the grout needs sealing? An easy way to do this is to pour a drop or two of water on the grout and observe what happens to it. If the color of the grout changes or becomes darker, then a sealing job is overdue. If there is no such change, then the grout is sealed.
Make sure that you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to understand how often you should be sealing grout. Bear in mind that grout situated outdoors will be exposed to the elements and will therefore wear down faster as compared to the grout inside.
You should also ensure good ventilation in your bathroom because humidity can damage grout as well. If you notice that tiles in your bathroom are getting loose or that bits of grout are disintegrating, then you need to carry out sealing right away to prevent further damage. Make sure that there is no stagnant puddle of water in the bathroom. These can be damaging to grout.
While cleaning your bathroom make sure that you don’t use a metal brush to wash the floor. This kind of a brush is too hard and it can potentially damage your grout.
You need to give the grout at least a month to set after your tiles are installed. If during this time, the grout gets stained then you can clean it using a mild bleach solution. Scrub the solution lightly to ensure that the grout remains undamaged.
Another key aspect of proper grout maintenance is regular cleaning. Wash, mop or vacuum the floor daily to make sure that there is no buildup of dust or dirt. You can use grout cleaning fluids like the Grout-EEZ Super Heavy Duty Tile & Grout Cleaner or the Black Diamond Ultimate Grout Cleaner.
You now know the answer to “does vinegar ruin grout?” Carrying out regular grout maintenance is the best way to go to obviate such a need.